Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Kent Hughes on the Verge of Acquiring Young Top-10 Pick?

Published March 23, 2024 at 6:48 PM

As you know, over the last few years, the Montreal Canadiens have replenished their prospect pool by acquiring several very promising young defenders, such as David Reinbacher, Lane Hutson, Logan Mailloux, and Bogdan Konyushkov.

Kent Hughes also attempted to find a successor to Carey Price by selecting Jacob Fowler and Yevgeni Volokhin in the last draft. Although it's too early to say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they will be the organization's future goalkeepers, the Habs now have good goaltenders and the future looks bright for the Montreal team.

However, despite the exceptional emergence of Juraj Slafkovsky this season, the management must absolutely find a way to acquire an offensive forward to propel the team to new heights. Obviously, the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge can count on players like Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Kirby Dach, Alex Newhook, and Joshua Roy, who are far from having reached their full potential, but even then, Montreal's offense is far from being a powerhouse in the Bettman circuit.

After all, at the time of writing these lines, the Montreal Canadiens are ranked 28th in the NHL for goals scored with a meager total of 185 goals in 69 games. This total is equivalent to an average of 2.68 goals per game, which is far from enough in a league that is now much more offensive than in previous years.

For comparison, only the Seattle Kraken (181), the Anaheim Ducks (174), the Chicago Blackhawks (151), and the San Jose Sharks (150) are worse than the CH in this regard.

That's why many observers hope that Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton select a forward in the next draft, as the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge now owns the 6th pick of the 2024 draft. Numerous high-potential prospects like Macklin Celibrini, Ivan Demidov, Cayden Lindstrom, Cole Eiserman, and Berkly Catton could potentially be available, who would bring a completely different dynamic to Martin St-Louis's attack.

A big acquisition for Kent Hughes and the Canadiens?

However, given that the organization has several interesting "assets," this famous acquisition could also be made through a trade. We know that the name of Trevor Zegras has been linked to the Canadiens on several occasions in the past, but a new publication by TVA Sports has just mentioned a target that could prove to be less expensive, but just as interesting.

Indeed, it's the eighth overall pick in 2017, Casey Mittelstadt. After a few difficult seasons with the Sabres, he seems to finally be taking off. Indeed, the 25-year-old forward scored 59 points in 82 games last season and is on track to set a new personal best this year. He has accumulated a total of 52 points in 68 games with the Sabres and Avalanche, and everything suggests that he could reach the 60-point plateau for the first time in his career.

"On the trade market, a player like them could be just what the Canadiens need. This is Casey Mittelstadt, a first-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2017.

Finally, in his first full season last year, he collected 59 points in 82 games. He had 47 in 62 games when the Sabres traded him to the Colorado Avalanche two weeks ago. He added four in his first five games with the team.

His salary is currently 2.5 million, but he will be a restricted free agent at the end of the campaign, and it would be surprising if the Avalanche could afford what he'll ask for." - Via TVA Sports

Do you think Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens should try to acquire Casey Mittelstadt this summer?

March 23   |   186 answers
Kent Hughes on the Verge of Acquiring Young Top-10 Pick?

Do you think Casey Mittelstadt would be a good fit for the Canadiens?

Yes10556.5 %
No8143.5 %
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